A Day in a Life: Dreaming the Eighth Step

In Carlos Castaneda’s The Second Ring of Power, la Gorda tells Carlos that she learned everything in dreaming (pp. 159-160). “Everything for a woman warrior starts in dreaming,” she tells him. Having read that, I am not so skeptical about my own experiences in dreaming. Though I have no idea how I was able to dream with the women shamans last fall, my intent was pure, and it worked. Gorda had the same issue. She was unable to tell Carlos exactly how certain things happened, but after years of practice she was finally able to just do them. This may relate to the knowing of the womb that Chuck wrote about a few weeks ago, the direct knowledge that women have access to but men need to work so hard for. I continue to call to the women shamans, or seers, the new term that Chuck introduced in his blog last Saturday and which I too will adopt so we all know we are talking about the same things.

Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t when I call to the women seers and ask them to show me something, but I keep trying. The other night I found them again, but failed to write down the important (?) message I was getting. If it really is important I figure I’ll tap into it again sometime, when I am more available. Last night I met them again and, at my request to go to deeper and deeper levels, they took me down into utter blackness where the presence of another entity freaked me out and sent me skittering right back up to consciousness. When I told Chuck about this, he said: “Oh, you went into inner silence. That’s where Carol Tiggs took Jeanne at a Tensegrity workshop.” It was not an unfamiliar place, I must say, and I look forward to making another foray into its mysterious realms with a little more awareness. In the meantime, I proceed with writing today about my dreaming adventures from last fall.

Last fall, my consistent efforts to connect with the women seers paid off over a period of a couple of weeks. They do not have features or looks I could describe, because they do not have form; they are more like energetic presences, energy beings that I seem to recognize. Here is the instruction I wrote in my journal during the night of dreaming with the women seers on October 28, 2009: NO ATTACHMENTS! It is the eighth step in developing a practice with the intention of evolving as an energy being.

This is perhaps the biggest of all the steps. It involves detaching from and leaving behind all the stuff that we have spent our lives collecting and bringing to us, everything we consider so important. It involves questioning ourselves about everything we hold dear and asking ourselves, can I leave this behind? Do I really need this? Attachments also relate to things, to people, habits, comforts, family rituals, to needing to be special or important, to wants and desires of the human kind, that yes, are very important up to a certain point and then, when the time is right for us as individuals, we are asked to let them go. Sometimes this does not become apparent until the moment of death, but more often than not we are presented with this challenge much earlier in life. I once heard the Dalai Lama state that, as evolving beings, it is appropriate to spend the first fifty years of life learning how to live in this world and the next fifty learning how to leave it.

The question then becomes, will we? Can we let go of our pasts and all that has kept us caught there? Can we give love and remain utterly detached, not needing or wanting anything in return, just giving? If we can get to this point we will understand detachment, but we will also understand compassion. This eighth step has detachment, compassionate love, and utter simplicity as its goal, without attachment to anything that takes our energy. It is the whole point of recapitulation: to free ourselves of all that has kept us energetically bound and unavailable to pursue our spirit’s intent.

After I had channeled Monday’s message from Jeanne, I sat down to type it up and was bothered by a knocking at the glass door in the room behind me. I finally got up and went to inspect. A fat robin sat on the edge of a chair on the deck looking in at me. As I watched he flew toward the glass, pecking at it, perhaps admiring his bright red breast, his wide wingspan, or perhaps he was fooled by the brilliant blue sky reflected in the window. He fell back after several attempts, but remained on or near the deck throughout the day, occasionally flying and pecking at the window. He returned the next day and we wondered if he was guarding a nesting female nearby. I thought perhaps he was related to the robin at the other end of the deck, who I discovered building a nest in a little Japanese maple tree near my compost pile one day when I went to empty the kitchen scraps. Perhaps he was drawn to the red chairs at this end of the deck, or perhaps he had come to thank me for my silent and calm approach to the nest whenever I went to the compost pile. The mother bird and I have by now established a mutual respect and a desire to go about our business. I approach calmly and she remains alert but still, rather than fly off shrieking as she did in the beginning, trying to draw my attention away from her eggs.

While the robins were building their nest we noticed a phoebe putting her own nest in a very precarious place underneath the deck, also right next to the compost pile, but too close to the ground and too close to danger of water damage, we thought. Sure enough, one morning I found her nest had been attacked by something and two tiny eggs lay smashed on the ground. A third egg teetered on the edge of the badly tipping nest. I wondered if the mother would return to repair the damage and keep going, caring for her one little egg. The next morning the third egg lay smashed and the bulk of the nest lay on the ground. When I picked it up I saw that a strand of my long white hair had been woven into it along with some hair from our dog. I could not believe that mother phoebe would just abandon her nest, but that was exactly what she did. Talk about detachment! She moved on, without a backward glance, to a new nesting place perhaps, leaving the remains of her young to be licked and scraped off the concrete porch under the deck by some creature in the night, nature at its finest, showing us how to detach, how to move on, how to energetically just keep going, keep trying, how to let go and flow.

In another bird event my daughter came home the other night, her hand outstretched, showing us a blue jay skull she had found on the ground, able to identify it by the feathers that lay beside it. Its delicate bones were picked clean and white, its sockets empty, its sharp bill fully intact. In Ted Andrew’s Animal Speak I read that the energy of the robin is about spring and new growth and daring to sing your own song, to stay true to your inner voice. To me this means to keep speaking and writing about my adventures with spirit, to keep dreaming. The phoebe is not represented in his descriptions, but I suspect, as I write above, that it has to do with detachment, at least for this moment in time. The blue jay represents death in this instance, the place we are all headed, but it also, according to Andrews, links heaven and earth. Blue jay energy has the ability to tap into both, the very thing that we humans strive to do as well and what I have been seeking in my dreaming with the women seers. All of these bird totems ask us to be serious about our energy, about how we decide to use it, for what purposes, and to what end. What are we really seeking?

My forays into the world of the women seers are my own quests for understanding energy, seeking to tap into and truly utilize my strengths, daring myself to keep going, no matter what comes out of the darkness to frighten me. I think that is what we are all challenged with. Whether our power is represented outside of us in the kundalini energy of the robin red breast, in the psychic powers of the blue jay, or in the ability to detach, as the phoebe does, and move on without regrets, we must still dare to find those energies inside of us. We must dare to own them, to use them to advance our awareness, gain clarity, and have some pretty cool experiences in the process. Whether we use them in this reality or in dreaming, it does not matter, as long as we just keep going, letting go, and changing.

I have the tiny phoebe nest on a shelf in my studio, the long hair from my own head woven artfully into it, a wisp of it hanging down, reminding me to pay attention to the energy of the robins who guard so diligently in this world, who flow with the energy of this reality as I continue to watch and await the birth of their young. It reminds me as well of the ability of the phoebe to moved on, with no attachments. It reminds me of the death of the blue jay and that, yes, I too will die. When or how, I do not know, but I want to be ready for the moment, learning now what that might mean by exploring as much as I can.

Until next week, keep dreaming and keep going! On a final note, I want to mention that Chuck and Jeanne and I have all written extensively about detachment in the past. If you care to read more about it, simply do a word search in the search button in the upper left corner of the sidebar and see what comes up. The books mentioned are in our Store and many of the shamanic terms are described in Tools & Definitions.


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